At the risk of repeating myself, regular readers will be aware that I began this blog as part of a package of measures -some pharmaceutical, some environmental (in terms of lifestyle) – designed to help me stop smoking.
By my reckoning, today marks the 6-month anniversary of my last cigarette and, therefore, this is the last time I shall mention smoking in this context on this blog. With tobacco, you never say ‘Never’, but I’m as close to being an ex-smoker as I’m ever likely to be. I don’t miss the smell, the cost or the attendant health problems – just the company of those forced to huddle outside in the rain, who often seemed far more engaging than those remaining inside. Then again, maybe I’m romanticising the situation….
I would like to be able to tell you that quitting has been a passport to happiness and health and that I am now able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Sadly, this is not the case. What I have found is that whilst it’s possible to quit smoking, it’s not possible to quit getting old. I turned 57 recently and what I’m finding is that a lifetime of not particularly healthy pursuits – of which smoking was just one – seems to have caught up on me pretty much all at once. My chest, which only 6 months ago was wheezing like a superannuated concertina, is now as clear as a bell. Trouble is, everything else seems to be falling to bits around it…..I have gained too much weight and don’t seem able to shed it, perhaps consequently I now have a ‘bad back’ and therefore find it hard to do the exercise I need to lose the weight…and so on; it just seems to go round in circles.
For me, giving up smoking seems to have been a classic case of needing to be careful what you wish for….all a bit dispiriting really. I suspect that coming to terms with this new set of problems is going to be every bit as difficult as was abandoning tobacco. We shall see.